How actors were made up for cult films, and what they had to experience (29 photos)

Category: Movie, Nostalgia, PEGI 0+
16 April 2024

We all remember very well such iconic characters as Freddy Krueger, Pinhead, Joker from the movie "Batman", Beetlejuice, etc. But in order to bring these images to life on screen, the actors had to put on makeup for several hours a day.

Robin Williams - Mrs. Doubtfire

Well, I would like to start with the cool film “Mrs. Doubtfire,” the filming of which I recently talked about in one of my previous articles. The main role here was played by the incomparable Robin Williams, who, according to the plot, had to transform into a sweet old woman in order to be closer to his children, because after his divorce from his wife, his communication with his children became very limited.

But it was on the screen that his character easily and quickly transformed into an elderly nanny, but the actor himself had to spend 4, or even 5 hours in the dressing room. To do this, he had to arrive on the set by 5 am in order to be ready for the start of filming.

Well, so that he would not be bored, a separate mirror was placed opposite him, through which Robin watched the TV located behind him.

Michael Keaton - "Beetlejuice"

Despite the fact that the film is called "Beetlejuice" and the main antagonist is the ghost exorcist himself, this character has a total of only 14 minutes of screen time.

By the way, Michael Keaton himself, who played Beetlejuice, more than once called this film his favorite in his career. In principle, this is not surprising, because director Tim Burton allowed him to improvise, thanks to which Michael had a blast. Yes, yes, a large number of Beetlejuice's lines are improvisations by Michael Keaton.

By the way, the second part of the film is coming out soon (after 36 years), and Michael Keaton, Winona Ryder, and Catherine O'Hara will return to their roles. Of course, I don’t expect anything from the sequel, but I’ll definitely watch it.

Jack Nicholson - "Batman"

And again we return to Tim Burton's film, but this time we will talk about the film "Batman", where the role of the main villain, nicknamed the Joker, was played by the incomparable Jack Nicholson.

True, Jack Nicholson himself initially did not want to play the Joker, since he did not really want to star in a film about men in strange suits, and was also not very happy about the prospect of spending several hours a day in the makeup chair. But a substantial fee, as well as a percentage of the profit, made the actor change his mind.

Jim Carrey - How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The role of the Grinch himself in the film “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” was played by the incomparable Jim Carrey. Although, to be honest, I don’t like the film itself at all. But the film received its only Oscar in the Best Makeup category.

True, the coveted figurine could have been given to Jim Carrey himself (just kidding), since being in a spandex suit covered with yak hair was simply unbearable and hot. According to Kerry himself, he was even a little scared in this suit, as he felt as if he was buried.

Yellow contact lenses also created some discomfort. Sometimes it was so painful to walk in them that the actor simply could no longer walk in them, which is why some scenes were filmed without them, and the eyes were painted using a computer.

Robert Englund - "A Nightmare on Elm Street"

Naturally, such an article simply could not do without Freddy Krueger, whose role was played by actor Robert Englund throughout 8 parts of the film “A Nightmare on Elm Street”, as well as the TV series “Freddy’s Nightmares”.

Every day it took about 3.5-4 hours to apply makeup. Moreover, according to the original idea, the makeup should have been more intimidating. According to the author's idea, Freddie's teeth should have been visible through his cheek. But at that time it was very difficult to implement, so this idea was abandoned.

Doug Bradley - "Hellraisers"

Despite the fact that Pinhead does not have much screen time in each part of the film, he is the symbol of the entire Hellraiser film series. When Doug Bradley was offered the role in the film, he was given the choice of either playing Pinhead or playing a longshoreman. And he, of course, chose the more interesting role of the pin-headed Synnobite.

True, in order to become Pinhead, poor Doug Bradley had to spend 6 hours a day in the dressing room. But, of course, such sacrifices were worth making.

Jim Carrey - "The Mask"

At the time of filming “The Mask,” Jim Carrey was not yet a popular and famous actor, so his fee was only $450,000. Naturally, in order to bring this image to life on the screen, it was not enough to simply put on a rubber mask.

Every day Jim Carrey spent about 2.5-3 hours in the makeup chair. His mask was a complex structure consisting of 5 parts. But of course, it was all worth it, especially since this film was a huge success.

Peter Mayhew - "Star Wars"

Not to say that Peter Mehew was a sought-after actor. His career essentially began with Star Wars IV: A New Hope (1977) and ended with Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi (2017). True, we never saw his face, since he played Han Solo's furry friend named Chewbacca.

In total, Peter starred in 6 full-length films in the series. Naturally, he would have played in the last full-length Star Wars film to date if he had not died in 2019.

Tim Curry - "It" (1990)

In the first film adaptation of the film “It,” the evil clown Pennywise was played by a little-known at the time, but terribly charming actor Tim Curry. Moreover, he got this role, beating such famous personalities as Alice Cooper and Malmom McDowell.

Initially, it was planned to use facial pads, but Tim Curry himself asked not to use them, explaining that the pads would only interfere with his facial expressions, which he was excellent at playing. Just remember his role as Mr. Hector in the film Home Alone 2, which came out two years later.

Jean Marais - "Fantômas"

In the Fantômas trilogy, actor Jean Marais played as many as 8 different roles. But of course, its main characters are definitely the journalist Fandor and Fantomas himself.

In order to put on the Fantômas mask and apply makeup, the actor spent about 2 hours every day in the dressing room. But that's not the worst thing. According to Jean Marais, being in the Fantômas mask was incredibly cramped and very hot. The actor’s psyche could not stand it, which is why he threw a tantrum and shouted at almost all members of the crew.

True, later (when he cooled down) the actor wildly apologized for his behavior, as he was very ashamed.

John Leguizamo - "Spawn"

In the movie "Spawn" the fat clown from hell was played by the slender actor John Leguizamo. This suit weighed 10 kilograms, which caused terrible discomfort for the actor. But still, he liked the costume and makeup so much that he never stopped admiring himself in the mirror.

True, in addition to the inconvenience, the hellish clown costume provoked some problems. Not only did sweat pour down from the actor, but he also rubbed it so hard that after filming, Leguizamo’s body was covered in blisters. And one day he became completely ill, which is why filming had to be stopped and the actor was urgently pulled out of the costume.

Warwick Davis - "Leprechaun"

Warwick Davis was perfect for the role of the Leprechaun in the film of the same name, but since he was under contract with Lucas films, he had no right to act in films from another studio. Then director Mark Jones contacted George Lucas to allow Davis to star in the film "Leprechaun", to which Lucas agreed.

The leprechaun's makeup took more than 3 hours every day. Moreover, it took at least 40 minutes to remove it. During this time, Warwick Davis even managed to become friends with the make-up artist, and even asked Mark Jones to direct him in the film. The director agreed and cast the make-up artist as an extra in the cafe scene.

Vincent D'Onofrio - Men in Black

To better play the alien bug in Men in Black, actor Vincent D'Onofrio watched a bunch of documentaries about insects.

The makeup itself took a huge amount of time. Every day the actor had to spend up to 6 hours in the makeup chair.

Danny DeVito - "Batman Returns"

The makeup for Dani DeVito in Batman Returns took a lot of work. To do this, make-up artists used a huge number of different face pads, imitation of rotten teeth, hand pads and much more. The actor had to sit for several hours a day in the makeup chair to create that unique villain Penguin.

As members of the film crew said, the actor sometimes got into the role so much that people were even afraid of him.

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